It looks like Dr. Vishal James Makker's jig is up. He is a neurosurgeon from Portland, Oregon who tends to do a lot of spinal surgery. I mean a lot. I mean like 10 times more than the average spinal surgeon does. Somehow the WSJ was able to pick his name out of the Medicare database and out him publicly. Now the hospital he was working at took away his privileges and the Oregon Board of Medicine is investigating him. Funny how they are on top of this situation AFTER the article comes out. I am sure the hospital won't be returning the monies this doctor made for them.
Whenever I see a doctor get picked on like this I try to not jump on the bandwagon without more information. I have seen doctors do more surgeries because he or she just works harder. I have seen some doctors have more lawsuits, along with bad outcomes, because he or she takes the harder cases. For Dr. Makker, however, I have to really wonder. Actually, I think this guy is cooked and needs to go. Here is the evidence:
- The Oregon board forced Dr. Makker to undergo remedial training in 2006 for what it called unnecessary surgeries and for allegedly billing for procedures he didn't perform.
- Nine malpractice suits against him in seven years
- Omega Solutions of Fresno, California may have paid him over $500K for using their products in surgery (this has not fully been proven yet)
- Dr. Makker is going out with an Omega Solutions sales rep who is often helping him with the product during the spinal surgeries
- In September 2008, he borrowed $3.75 million from KeyBank. He said he used part of the loan for his practice and for investments in a surgery center and three MRI centers, but also "lost some money in the stock market and in real estate investments." Court records show that Dr. Makker defaulted on the loan on Dec. 1, 2009.
- A judge in his divorce case ordered him to pay his ex-wife more than $1 million in accordance with a prenuptial agreement. KeyBank and Darlene Makker battled in court to obtain priority liens on Dr. Makker's Fidelity brokerage account. Ms. Makker had his earnings garnisheed.
- Late last year, four neurosurgeons who covered for one another during off hours asked Dr. Makker to leave their call group. Two people familiar with the matter say the doctors tired of treating frequent complications of Dr. Makker's patients.